Favorite Crockpot Recipes?
- VBeatso Jan 15, 2006 03:39 PM
I just purchased my first crockpot it is a 4 quart. Does anyone have any great recipes to get crockpot started on the right foot? Thanks
Here's my favorite crockpot recipe. It's a rich and delicious Tomato-Lamb-Eggplant "stew" over pasta that even the eggplant-ambivalent like. This recipe is originally from Mabel Hoffman's Crockery Favorites (a great cookbook), but I've made a bunch of changes.
Lamb and Eggplant Pasta with Feta
1 lb ground lamb
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced (it's fine unpeeled, too)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the dry type)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Splash of red wine (optional, but tasty)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper to taste (I add at least 10 grinds)
1/4 to 1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp fresh basil or parsley, chopped
Cooked pasta of your choice (I like "substantial" pasta such as penne, bow ties, or rotelle, as well as plain old egg noodles)
Brown the lamb in a skillet and put in the crockpot. Add the onions (you can saute them first, but they're fine if added raw), eggplant, tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, wine, and spices.
Stir the mixture once or twice, then cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, until the eggplant is tender (it can go as long as 9 or 10 hours). The texture will be like a thick meat sauce, with the eggplant reduced so it's almost unrecognizable (especially if you peeled the eggplant).
Just before you're ready to eat, cook the pasta (or be like me and reheat some leftover pasta). Top the hot pasta with the lamb-eggplant sauce, then garnish with crumbles of feta cheese and the chopped basil or parsley.
Note: This dish can also be made on the stove, in about 30-40 minutes. You'll need to add about a cup of liquid (water or stock, and a little more wine) to compensate for the steam that would be kept in by the crockpot lid.
I made a version of it for the superbowl w/lamb meat (shoulder meat) and it was pretty good, but I felt like it needed something else. My guests really liked it, but I think I needed either a meatier taste, or maybe ground lamb would've made it a bit fattier (and thereby maybe a more homogenous distribution of meaty-taste). If I make it again I think I'll actually use some good lamb sausages and take them out of their casings.
Just made this tonight (finally after three years of copying this recipe from you and meaning to make it!)
I did the stove top version as I forgot to do it this morning in the crock pot. I have to be honest and say I was not happy with the outcome by following your recipe exactly. I added at least double the tomato paste at the end (half a can), double the cinnamon, more hot chili, salt (I didn't see any mention of salt in your recipe but I assume it was a no brainer), and way more than a cup of stock. Probably at least 3-4 cups during the course of it simmering on the stove. Oh also way more fresh herbs when it was finished. That being said, it was tasty after I modified it. Very nice twist on typical pasta dishes and I loved the feta crumbled on top. I used Israeli feta from Trader Joe's.
I love crockpots for their ease of making dinner into something that is ready when you get home.
My favorite recipe is for dessert and it's called Triple Chocolate Mess (aka) To Die For.
It's everything chocolate and ends up like a molten lava cake with the hot gooey fudge center and the cake outter ring. It is fabulous and filling.
The other thing I like to make in the crockpot is a recipe given to me by a friend. Roast beef with pepperoncini's.
Let me know if either of them sounds good to you. They're both excellent.
Yesterday made some lamb shanks. S/P and olive oil on the lamb shanks. Browned in butter and olive oil. Into the crockpot with some water, an onion, carrot and a splash of worcestire sauce. Added a bit of Better than Bouillon ( only had beef on hand), and a tablespoon (or so) of tomato paste. I would have added some red wine, but did not have any on hand. Cooked from about 8 am to 4 pm. The sauce was so good, I just had to make a gravy. SErved with mashed garlic potatoes, green beans, freshly baked bread and a salad. So good. And using the crock pot is recipe friendly- you can add what you like, and taste the broth along the way.